The Christian Rock Band Called Red

Red's Sound Is Similar to Linkin Park and Shinedown

Photo courtesy Red Music.

Red plays hard rock that occasionally flirts with metal influences. The quartet is identified as a Christian band, but the band's songs don’t contain overt references to religion or faith, although the lyrics’ implied spiritual themes have made Red popular on the Christian charts. Known for being a tireless touring group, Red flexes a dynamic, dramatic quality in its songs that’s similar to the sound of groups like Shinedown and Linkin Park.

Red's Origins

Red came together in the middle of the 2000s thanks to a friendship between singer Michael Barnes and twin brothers Anthony and Randy Armstrong. Moving from Pennsylvania to Tennessee to focus on their career, the three members hooked up with guitarist Jasen Rauch. The band went through a few different drummers, but these four principals have remained the core of Red.

'End of Silence'

In 2006, Red released "End of Silence." The album spawned three singles that landed on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts. In reviews, critics compared Red to bands like Linkin Park, Breaking Benjamin, and Chevelle. Mainstream music magazines didn’t give the band much attention, but Christian publications were very supportive of the record. As a vocalist, Barnes fluctuated between moments of brooding intensity and full-out screaming invective. In 2006, "End of Silence" was nominated for the Grammy for Best Rock or Rap Gospel Album, losing to Jonny Lang’s "Turn Around."

'Innocence & Instinct'

Red returned in 2009 with "Innocence and Instinct," which the band members said was inspired by Dante’s "Inferno" and a serious 2007 tour accident that resulted in their van crashing through a guardrail and sliding across the highway on its side.

Red Lineup

Anthony Armstrong – guitar
Randy Armstrong – bass
Michael Barnes – vocals
Jasen Rauch – guitar

Key Red Songs

“Let Go” (Purchase/Download)
“Breathe Into Me” (Purchase/Download)
“Already Over” (Purchase/Download)
“Death of Me” (Purchase/Download)

Red Discography

"End of Silence" (2006)
"Innocence & Instinct" (2009)

 

Red Quotes

Michael Barnes, on the difference between a "mainstream" tour versus a "Christian" tour:
"Mainstream is not too much different. Really as far as content, it is a little bit different. Like the tour that we are on right now with 3 Doors Down, they are all Christian guys and everything. But as far as saying stuff from a stage, we don't usually do that on a mainstream tour because the people that show up there are not there to really hear what the message is about and they don't know who we are." --  Review, Oct. 18, 2008

Anthony Armstrong, on the non-Christian bands, Red like:
"We're pretty big fans of Slipknot. We reference some of their music writing our records, you know some of the kind of things they do with their music. It's funny, too, because in a lot of ways people ask us, 'Why do you like these bands that that is kind of just outright evil?' and we're just like 'What?' It just all comes down to the music, it doesn't necessarily mean that we agree with the content of what they are saying or whatever." -- Unrated Magazine, May 2008

Randy Armstrong, on the meaning of the band's name:
"'Red' symbolizes the blood of Christ. We wanted a name that was short, meaningful and easy to remember. We had to make sure we could use the name 'Red,' so we searched for 2 1/2 years before we got the trademark for our band name. Many people have used the name 'Red' in their music, or in the name of a band like the Red Hot Chili Peppers or Simply Red, but nobody has ever used just 'Red' as a band name." -- Tuesday.com, June 6, 2006

Anthony Armstrong, on having his twin brother in Red:
"We've always gotten along. We're not competitive in any way. Well sports-wise, yeah, and video games, but when it comes to music there's really no competing because we're all just doing it for the exact same reasons. We just want it to sound good, and be good." -- Unrated Magazine, May 2008

Red Trivia

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Grierson, Tim. "The Christian Rock Band Called Red." ThoughtCo, Aug. 29, 2017, thoughtco.com/red-biography-and-profile-2898076. Grierson, Tim. (2017, August 29). The Christian Rock Band Called Red. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/red-biography-and-profile-2898076 Grierson, Tim. "The Christian Rock Band Called Red." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/red-biography-and-profile-2898076 (accessed September 23, 2017).